Saturday, August 13, 2005

TSA Nonsense Under Review

In a long overdue move, the TSA is finally reviewing - and likely revising - the excessive screening measures currently in place for airline passengers. (CNN: Airline screening hassles may be cut).

Some of the changes include the elimination of the need for passengers to remove their shoes for screening, and the removal of certain items from the list of items prohibited from carry-ons. There will also be more discretion granted the screeners with regards to the need for pat-downs or more intensive searches.

This review is long overdue. The restrictive measures imposed after 9/11 served only to create passenger delays and add to the hassles of flying. The security measures did nothing to actually improve airline security, however. Worse yet, rules prohibiting the use of profiling prevented screeners from specifically targeting passengers most likely to be security risks, while forcing them to search obviously secure passengers. (On one flight, I witnessed a 7-year old girl being searched because she had two books stacked together in her checked luggage.)

It sounds like Edmund S. "Kip" Hawley, the new head of the TSA, may be taking a more reasonable approach to airline screening. Perhaps a more targeted screening approach (which means the use of profiling) with less of an emphasis on the average passenger will result in true security, not just the illusion of security.


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